Type 2 Diabetes and Intermittent Fasting; a Guide

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Researchers recently studied the effects of intermittent fasting on type 2 diabetes.

They discovered that intermittent fasting reversed type 2 diabetes in nearly half of the study participants after three months.

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More research in larger populations is required to determine the extent to which intermittent fasting can help reverse type 2 Diabetes.

Guide to Type 2 diabetes and Intermittent Fasting
Type 2 Diabetes and Intermittent Fasting
Type 2 Diabetes and Intermittent Fasting

According to a new study, intermittent fasting can reverse type 2 diabetes in half of the patients in just three months.

  • Diet consisted of eating 840 calories for five days, followed by ten days of normal eating
  • A study found 33% managed to reverse the condition and remain free of it a year later
  • Experts warn that the study was small (only 36 people) and brief.

A study suggests that fasting for five days at a time may help some people reverse type 2 diabetes.

To lose weight, it is becoming increasingly popular to try the 5:2 diet, fast on alternate days, or eat within an eight-hour window each day.

According to the findings of a small Chinese study, another type of fasting diet appears to be effective in treating type 2 Diabetes.

The strict diet consisted of five days of eating only about 840 calories per day, followed by ten days of normal eating.

The findings were published recently in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A study suggests that fasting for five days at a time may help some people reverse type 2 Diabetes

‘Nutritional rice,’ a meal-replacement biscuit containing black beans, maize, and oats, and fruit and vegetable gruel were among the foods available for each meal during the fasting period, which required only boiling water to be added.

Almost half of the 36 people who followed this diet for three months were able to reverse type 2 Diabetes and remain free of it a year later.

The study was very small, and it is important to follow up with the participants for several years because high blood sugar can often return.


However, the findings support evidence from a trial led by the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom, which found that nearly half of people on an extremely low-calorie diet of soups and shakes could lower their blood sugar to a normal level – where they were no longer considered diabetic.

This approach, which has been piloted by NHS England, is set to be implemented nationally.

Dr. Dongbo Liu, the senior author of the study from Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China, said: ‘Diabetes remission is possible if patients lose weight by changing their diet and exercise habits.’

Dr.Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior lecturer at Aston University, said: ‘Although there have been studies to show low-calorie diets and low-carbohydrate diets can help people with type 2 diabetes achieve remission, this relatively small study is the first to show the use of intermittent fasting.’

He added that it was impossible to say whether fasting or simple weight loss was responsible for putting type 2 diabetes into remission.

Type 2 Diabetes Remission 

There is no single best diet for managing type 2 diabetes or achieving remission – it is the diet that is most appropriate for the individual living with type 2 diabetes.’

Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and an unhealthy diet, affects approximately 3.7 million people in the United Kingdom.

The Chinese study enrolled people aged 38 to 72 who had lived with the condition for one to eleven years.

Over a three-month period, half of the participants tried the intermittent fasting diet, while the other half ate normally.

The 36 people who fasted lost an average of almost 6kg (13 pounds), while the other 36 lost only 0.27kg (0.6 pounds) on average.

Three months after finishing the diet, 17 of the 36 people who fasted had reversed their type 2 diabetes, while only one of the 36 who ate their usual diet had.

A year after finishing the diet, 16 of the 36 people on the fasting diet (44 %) were still free of type 2 diabetes.

According to the study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, remission was defined as having an average blood sugar level of less than 6.5 percent at least one year after stopping diabetes medication.

How does changing diet help with type 2 diabetes? What type of diet should someone with type 2 diabetes follow?

People with type 2 diabetes who are considering changing their diet or wondering if they might be able to put their diabetes into remission should consult with a health professional about the potential effects of their medication.

Intermittent fasting supporters argue that it is easier to follow than calorie counting and may be more effective for weight loss.

What is type 2 diabetes meaning?

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a malfunction in the way the body regulates and utilizes sugar (glucose) as fuel.

This long-term (chronic) condition causes an excess of sugar to circulate in the bloodstream.

High blood sugar levels can eventually cause circulatory, nervous, and immune system problems.

What is the root cause of type 2 diabetes?

According to the CDC, diabetes type 2 affects more than 33 million people in the United States.

It happens when the body develops a resistance to insulin, a pancreatic hormone that allows glucose to enter cells and be used for energy.

It typically occurs later in life, around or after the age of 45 years old, but increasingly, children and teens are developing it.

Other risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Previously had gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before
  • Being physically active for fewer than three days per week
  • Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes; and being Black, Hispanic or Latinx, Indigenous or Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Asian American.

According to the CDC, typical management consists of checking blood sugar, developing a diet plan, increasing physical activity, and decreasing stress.

Type 2 diabetes is clearly different from type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Type 1 vs Diabetes Type 2

The primary distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that type 1 is a genetic condition that often manifests early in life, whereas type 2 is primarily lifestyle-related and develops over time.

When you have type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves alternate days of fasting and eating normally.

Intermittent fasting diets are broadly classified into two types: time-restricted feeding, which limits eating times to 6-8 hours per day and is also known as the 16:8 diet, and 5:2 intermittent fasting.

The 16:8 diet is a type of intermittent fasting, also referred to as Time Restricted Eating.

IF(Intermittent fasting)

Followers of the eating plan fast for 16 hours a day, and eat whatever they want in the remaining eight hours – typically between 10 am and 6 pm.

This may be more tolerable than the well-known 5:2 diet, in which followers limit their calories to 500-600 per day for two days per week and then eat normally for the remaining five.

Aside from weight loss, 16:8 intermittent fasting is thought to improve blood sugar control, improve brain function, and help us live longer lives.

Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m. because it allows them to fast overnight and skip breakfast while still eating lunch and dinner and a few snacks.

When you do eat, choose healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Drink plenty of water and unsweetened beverages.

The risks/side effects of intermittent fasting

Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, can result in a racing heart, sweating, shakiness, and other symptoms.

If the condition is severe, it can cause weakness, seizures, and even death.

People with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to experience hypoglycemia, especially if they go long periods without eating, and this was one of the experts of the first risk considered when evaluating the safety of intermittent fasting.

“If you are taking medications that are aimed at reducing the amount of glucose in your blood, together with fasting these can cause potentially fatal hypoglycemia,”

Horne says. “It’s not a minor safety risk.”

The benefits of intermittent fasting ~ Benefits of Fasting for Diabetes

Fasting can help people with type 2 diabetes in a variety of ways.

  • Increase weight loss while preserving muscle mass
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Reduce low-grade systematic inflammation
  • Improve cardiometabolic health
Which fasting plan is the best?

Each of these plans has numerous variations. At this point, it’s unclear which, if any, of these is best for people with Type 2 diabetes. “I think the most common is probably time-restricted eating, followed by fasting two days a week,” Horne says.

“However, at the moment, I would say that no single plan stands out as the best option.” He goes on to say that the “right” plan is one that a patient will stick with.

Even if the more intense fasting programs prove to be the most beneficial, it won’t matter if people can’t stick to them.

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe for People with Type 2 Diabetes?
  • While intermittent fasting is safe, people with diabetes may be at risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia due to blood sugar fluctuations during and after periods of not eating.
  • More research is required to determine the long-term risks and benefits of intermittent fasting for diabetics.
16:8 intermittent fasting and type 2 diabetes

It is one of the weight loss methods that has been linked to diabetes remission studies.

Some examples of intermittent fasting diets are described below:

Method 16/8: Every day, you fast for 16 hours and eat only for the remaining 8 hours. It is also known as a time-restricted diet.

Diabetes type 2 and intermittent fasting

According to research, intermittent fasting can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Type 2 diabetes is not always a chronic, life-long disease.

Diabetes remission is possible if patients lose weight through dietary and exercise changes.

Can intermittent fasting cause diabetes?

We can control this process and cause metabolic switching in our own bodies by using intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding.

However, excessive ketone production can result in a dangerous condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, especially if you have type 1 diabetes;

Intermittent fasting raises blood sugar

If your intermittent fasting routine causes you stress, fasting can cause a rise in blood sugar.

If your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas will be unable to produce enough insulin, resulting in a slew of health issues.

Intermittent fasting type 2 diabetes metformin

If you are currently taking metformin to control your blood glucose levels, research indicates that it is safe to continue taking the medication once you begin intermittent fasting.

However, if you fast for an entire day, you should avoid taking the medication because it may increase your risk of hypoglycemia.

What is the best intermittent fasting for diabetics?

There are various types of diabetes-friendly intermittent fasting plans.

Examples include 16:8, 12:12, and 20:4, where the fasting hours are 16, 12, and 20 respectively.

A diabetic, on the other hand, should not fast for more than 24 hours.

The American Diabetes Association recommends intermittent fasting.

When medically monitored, intermittent fasting can be safe and effective for people with diabetes;

Mattson recommends that people interested in intermittent fasting start slowly. He suggests shortening the eating window.

For example, fast for 10 hours one month, and then increase to 12 hours the following month.

Is it possible for a diabetic to fast for 24 hours?

Some people fast for several days or even weeks at a time, for religious reasons, for example.

When you have diabetes, however, not eating for more than 24 hours can be dangerous.

Is it possible to reverse type 2 diabetes through intermittent fasting?

Fasting can be a simple and effective way to lose weight, but it is not a standard treatment for type 2 diabetes.

A small study found that therapeutic fasting (going without food and drink containing calories for a set period of time) can help reverse type 2 Diabetes.

Is it possible to completely reverse type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes has no known cure. However, it may be possible to reverse the condition to the point where you no longer require medication to manage it and your body does not suffer from having too high blood sugar levels.

What happens if you fast while suffering from type 2 Diabetes?

This can result in a hypo, or too high blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which requires hospital treatment. DKA symptoms include excessive thirst and frequent urination.

How close are we to a cure for type 2 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 2 diabetes?

There is currently no cure, but our researchers are working on a groundbreaking weight management study to assist people in putting their type 2 diabetes into remission.

Remission occurs when blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels return to normal.

Which intermittent fasting method is best for type 2 diabetes?

There are various types of diabetes-friendly intermittent fasting plans.

Examples include 16:8, 12:12, and 20:4, where the fasting hours are 16, 12, and 20 respectively.

A diabetic, on the other hand, should not fast for more than 24 hours.

How long does type 2 Diabetes take to reverse?

How long does it take to get diabetes under control? There is no set timetable for when people with Type 2 diabetes can expect to see the fruits of their labor pay off

Diabetes experts say that with medication and lifestyle changes, diabetics can see a difference in three to six months.

How can I manage type 2 Diabetes without taking medication?

Diabetes Management without Medication

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Consume more whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
  2. Shed some pounds
  3. Workout
  4. Find a partner to help you commit to regular exercise
  5. Test your blood sugar
  6. Get enough good quality sleep
  7. Getting routine checkups
Can people with type 2 Diabetes fast for 16 hours?

The American Diabetes Association does not recommend fasting as a diabetes management technique.

According to the association, lifestyle changes, such as medical nutrition therapy and increased physical activity, are the foundations for weight loss and good diabetes health.

How many hours should a Type 2 diabetic fast?

The 16:8 method which involves fasting for 16 hours and reducing the eating window to only 8 hours, is the most common type of fasting.

For example, a person can eat dinner around 7 p.m., skip breakfast the next day, and eat lunch around 11 a.m.

Can you cure diabetes through fasting?

Nearly 90% of those with type 2 Diabetes for less than four years can achieve remission by losing 15% of their body weight.

Is there any hope for people with type 2 diabetes?

If left untreated, it can cause serious complications such as kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, and stroke.

However, while there are over 30 different drugs on the market to help manage this disease and prevent these issues, none of them provide a cure.

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